This Emotional Fitness Training post applies not just to alcohol addiction, but all addictions. Moreover, we are all addicts in one way or another. Read it, strengthen your Emotional Intelligence and stay healthier.
Fact: We live in a culture that pushes you to drink. Don’t think so? Watch some of the cooking shows, 99.9% of them push drinking, some quietly by suggesting the wine you serve with your meal, others more insistently by the various hosts toasting each other throughout the show.
Then there are the sports venues. True they only hawk beer, but one beer equals a shot of the hard stuff.
Finally, there are the partying high-schoolers and college crowds celebrating drunkenness. Not all, but enough to make me shudder. Once upon my time, drunkenness was a shandra, a shame, something to be pitied.
Fact: There are two certain paths to become a drunk or other addict. Our drinking culture is one.
The process found on this path is called habituation. That fancy word means habit forming behavior.
Anything you do that finds your brain putting forth a little happiness chemical can become a sought after activity and a necessary habit. Why am I typing this when so few read it. I get a jolt of happiness when I finish it, when I publish it, when one or two people like, share, or comment.
The second path to any sort of addiction is a genetic pre-disposition. You have drunks and addicts in your family history? You are at greater risk of addiction.
My grandfather was rich and respected member of his community. He also consumed coke-a-cola as if it was water. And in his day it was flavored with cocaine. He died unexpectedly in his prime. Addiction kills. Sad to report many of his children and grandchildren became alcoholics or drug addicts.
Combine the two paths and no wonder there is growing concern about the current “Opiad addiction.”
What to do? Try the following:
Emotional Fitness Training Tips
Tip one: Do as the Buddha suggested: Practice moderation in all things. Applied to drinking this means no more than three drinks a day, no more than one drink an hour. And a drink means one beer, one glass of wine, or one shot of the hard stuff.
A little known fact: Chug-a-lugging (rapidly drinking lots of liquor can kill you. Kills too many young people who take a dare to down a bottle quickly.
Another fact: Mixing marijuana and alcohol is also deadly. Doing so interferes with nature’s up-chucking which is actually your body’s attempt to keep you alive when you have too much alcohol in your system.
Tip two: Avoid habituation. Drink no more than four days a week.
Tip three: If you are already a heavy drinker, cut down gradually. Sudden withdrawal from alcohol is deadly.
Tip four: If you have trouble doing the above, find an AA group that feels right to you. You may have to try a few before finding one that works for you.
Tip five: Cannot stand the thought of AA, seek a therapist who uses Motivational Interviewing MI is a useful alternative to AA.
TIp six: Cannot do any of the above, and that is a sure sign you are already an alcoholic.
Some final words: Moderation is for everyone. You may not be an alcoholic, but everyone has an addiction or two. Anything that rules your life to the point where you cannot not do it is an addiction. Social media is one of mine, care-taking another. I work to keep both from growing stronger and for the most part am successful, but not always. The struggle against any addiction is life long.
As always strengthen your self soothing skills. My 12 Daily Emotional Fitness Exercises are research based and easy to practice self-soothing exercises. New to this idea or this blog? Go here for an introduction to the 12 Daily Exercises or spend $2.99 for my e-Book Self-soothing:How To Create Calm In Your Life.
Thank you and stay strong: Practice Kindness right now by liking, commenting, or sharing this and EFT posts.
Links of Interest
Emotional Intelligence (en.wikipedia.org)
- The five components of emotional Intelligence (www.sonoma.edu)
- An Emotional Fitness Program for Parents (amazon.com)
- Easy Emotional Fitness Exercises.
Disclaimer one: Emotional Fitness Training is not therapy. Even the most learned researchers and therapists quarrel about much. Take their advice and mine carefully. Don’t just listen to your heart, but also think; don’t just think, listen to your heart. Heart and head working together increase the odds you will find useful advice amid all the promises and hopes pushed at you be others. As others have noted, take what seems useful, leave the rest.
Disclaimer two: Forgive my grammatical errors If you need perfect posts, you will not find them here; I will understand if you don’t follow, like or share what like me. Not only am I dealing with an aging brain, but all of my life I have been plagued by dysgraphia–a learning disability, Some of my posts might be peppered with bad spelling, poor punctuation, and worse words that make no sense. If you want to hang in with me, thank you; you are kind. If a post doesn’t make sense or bugs you too much, stop reading, I will understand.